Ray Bradbury’s science-fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 has literary elements that strengthenits interpretation. The theme of this novel is the significance of a person’s independentthought. The literary movement of this piece of literature is Romanticism. Through theuse of Guy Montag, an emotionally distressed individual who realizes the importance ofindependent thinking, Fahrenheit 451’s theme and literary movement are betterunderstood.
The theme of Fahrenheit 451 is the importance of an individual’s independentthought and the individual’s creative ability. Guy Montag never thought about what hedid because he was told what he did was appropriate for society, and also he is happy withhis role in society. He felt like that until he met Clarisse McClellan, a 17 year-old girl thatsociety calls a mental case because she questions society. She ?teaches? Montag about thepast when society did not fear the firemen. When he talked to the his colleagues they laughat him because they believe what their handbook says. ?The only action these characterstake is to maintain their status quo-the way things are. In contrast, Clarisse, Montag andFaber are individuals who wonder about their world and, in the case of Montag and Faber,are able to make attempts to change things? (Telgen 145).He had been taking the books atsome of the midnight runs he had, but never really wanted to find out what is written inthem until after he found out that Clarisse died. A person that helped Montag expand hiscreativity was Professor Faber. He was a man that Montag remembered he had met whenhe needed someone else’s guidance to do the right thing for himself. Professor Faber tellsMontag about how society has depended on technology for many things and that Shah 2technology threatened the development of the mind. ?In Bradbury’s novel, education’semphasis on technology leads to a culture where people understand how things are donebut never bother to wonder why things are done? (Levy 1314). This type of educationdoes not encourage the persons with unique abilities to look into depth and find a reasonfor why things are done. ?School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories,languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almostcompletely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies about after work. Why learn anything, save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts??(Bradbury 55-6). This is the quote that Captain Beatty, Montag’s boss, said to Montagwhen Montag was not sure about being a fireman.
Novels have many aspects that influence the author in determining the type of plotthey should include. The literary movement of Fahrenheit 451 is Romanticism. It has sixdifferent characteristics: 1) emphasizes individualism, spontaneity, and freedom from rules;2) shows a solitary life, not a life in society; 3) shows a belief that imagination is superiorto reason; 4) reflects a devotion to beauty; 5) shows a love and worship of nature andfascination with the past, especially with myths and the supernatural; 6) shows apassionate love of country (Donnell 2). Montag emphasizes disposition, whimsicaltendency, and salvation from regulations by changing his belief about community afterbeing a fireman for 12 years. ?Bradbury has been called a romantic, and his romanticismoften surfaces in the themes he investigates: the conflict between human vitality andspiritless mechanism, between the creative individual and the conforming group,…?(Paradowski 356). Clarisse McClellan and her family showed a life not within thestandards of society and also they are people that remain alone and not associate withsociety. We had some false alarms on the McClellans, when they lived in Chicago. Neverfound a book. Uncle had mixed records; antisocial. The girl? She was a timeShah 3bomb. The family had been feeding her subconscious, I’m sure, from what I sawof her school record. She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why.
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(Bradbury 60) What Captain Beatty said about the McClellans proves they were considered outcasts. Professor Faber shows the confidence that imagination is greater to understanding. Thiswas proven by the quote, ?The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched thepatches of the universe together into one garment for us? (83). This means that the onlythings that is needed is the information provided in books that help explain the items thatare not explained by the reason.
The plot and theme are captured more thoroughly through the use of distinctcharacters and their points of
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